Society of African Journal Editors

Inkanyiso: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

How our rights affect their rights: rethinking animal rights in Africa

Authors: Olusola Victor Olanipekun

Journal: Inkanyiso: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

The issue of animal rights protection is a fundamental one for the animal rights activists especially in Western societies. There are animal rights organisations in the USA, UK and some European countries, with the sole aim of protecting and rescuing animals around the world. There are series of legislations also from the governments of various countries with the aim of prohibiting wanton and unreasonable killing of animals or violation of animal rights. But is it the same in Africa? The answer is not  straightforward. Why is this so? Do Africans really believe in the validity of such rights? If they do, are they really thinking about it, just like Westerners? These questions are addressed in this paper, which agrees with the view of the supporters of animal rights. Essentially, it argues that given the enormity of socio-economic and political challenges confronting African countries, the issue of animal rights seems not to be a matter of priority in practice for many African leaders. The focus of this paper is that the inherent challenge of securing human rights in Africa, coupled with socio-economic and political problems confronting African countries, is basically responsible for ineffective protection of animal rights in Africa. Thus, this paper concludes that if human rights are taken seriously in Africa, animal rights will be taken seriously. Keywords : Animal rights, human rights, African beliefs, African religions, culture